Posted on 1st May 2003 at 4:54 PM UTC

Interview: Namco talks Soul Calibur II

Make your eyes bleed over stunning media as producer Hiroaki Yotoriyama speaks about Namco's massive multi-format fighter

Little more can be said about the masterpiece that is Soul Calibur on Dreamcast, an astonishingly comprehensive, flashy fighter that stunned the gaming community and crushed the opposition. Ever since, owners of every other console on the planet have been dying for a slice of the action, and with Soul Calibur II, PS2, Xbox and GameCube owners get just that. And then some.

Already out in Japan, the mighty sequel has received rave reviews, with Namco coming up trumps yet again with a brilliant fighter, that offers two-player fighting thrills to die for.

So yes, westerners should be creaming pants at the prospect of Soul Calibur 2 as we write. And to ramp up the excitement to even greater levels, we were lucky enough to catch up with Soul Calibur II producer Horoaki Yotoriyama, who offered more than a few teasers to get the pre-release juices flowing.

Soul Calibur II Screenshot
What the main improvements you feel you've made over the original home version?

Yotoriyama: We focused on upgrading the quality of game content, graphics, motion and sound. Although the game system will be easily accessible for first time players, the game contents have expanded and the users will be able to enjoy higher play value. Regarding the graphics, I think it's safe for me to say that the characters and background graphics have dramatically improved compared to its predecessor.

The motion capture will be superior in quality to the original Soul Calibur and the characters have more distinguished features due to the various retouches regarding its rendering. Finally, the sounds were created and inspired by the beautiful graphics. To sum everything up, we pursued a higher quality of game in every aspect. I hope my words will remain true to the players.

With Virtua Fighter, Soul Calibur and Namco's own Tekken all still highly popular, what are your thoughts on the competition?

Yotoriyama: I believe that all the aforementioned titles are highly renowned titles of the fighting action genre and I respect those titles in every sense. Concerning the worldwide release of Soul Calibur II, I feel very responsible as a producer and at the same time, grateful for all the fans out there in the world.

Why did you choose to include boundaries to the arenas and what impact does this have on gameplay?

Yotoriyama: The addition of the boundaries has improved the last game's problem with the characters ringing out easily. I believe it plays a role in which the player will be able to experience intensified fighting situations impossible during the standing

position. Finally, being able to fight in natural environments is an inspiration and

motivation for the players rather than fighting on a flat surfaced arena.

Soul Calibur II Screenshot
Can you tell us a little about the platform-specific bonus characters you're including?

Yotoriyama:Heihachi Mishima, from Namco`s Tekken series, will feature as the guest character of the PS2 platform. It is a dream collaboration, for the main character from the Tekken series, one of Namco`s two major fighting action titles, will appear within our game game. Look forward to how he rampages about within Soul Calibur's arenas.

Link from The Legend of Zelda, one of the most well-known console game heroes will be featuring in the GC version. This brilliant dream collaboration with Nintendo has broadened the world of Soul Calibur and the users will be able to witness Link`s gallant fighting posture within the game.

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